The Healing Benefits of the Great Outdoors

If you are avoiding the summer sun and heat you are doing yourself a great disservice. Regardless the range of weather and temperatures, rain or shine, the great outdoors rejuvenates and heals your body, mind, and spirit in ways you cannot receive elsewhere.

There is no food you can eat, pill you can pop, or activity that you can engage in, that can offer you the healing benefits that nature has to offer.

Ever notice how people who get outside regularly seem to have a certain glow to them and appear happier overall than those who get trapped in today’s building dominated infrastructure?

For one, those who heed the “stay out of the sun” public warnings are showing up vitamin D deficient which has now been well noted as a symptom, and often a factor in creating a wide range of illnesses.

Vitamin D

We are further guided to bathe our skin with toxic sunscreens to protect us from the damaging rays of the sun yet the rate of cancer increases each year.

Have you scrutinized the ingredients in those “sun protecting” potions and lotions? Ironically, the majority of them have cancer causing agents more threatening than the sun exposure they’re working to protect you from.  Do yourself a favor and qualify your sunscreen at the Environmental Working Group’s  Skin Deep Database.

Furthermore, sunblock impedes the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D from the sun, the most effective source of vitamin D.  Deficiency of this crucial vitamin is well noted to play a major role in almost every major illness, including:

  • Alzheimers
  • Cancer (17 varieties including breast, colon, and prostrate)
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinsons
  • Bursitis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Obesity
  • Bone loss & rickets (bone loss in children)
  • Kidney disease
  • Depression & SAD (seasonal affective disease-winter depression)

All you need is 20-30 minutes of direct sun exposure to your legs and arms (without sunscreen) to receive the benefits of this vital vitamin that is lacking in over 70% of the population.

Vitamin D  has numerous healing benefits and can be stored up in the body for use in the winter months so now is the time to bask in it. If you are going to be in the sun for extended periods of time, cover up with light clothing, a hat, &/or approved sunscreen.

Negative ions

The benefits of fresh air cannot be ignored. Negative ions, found in highest density outdoors near moving waters such as beaches and waterfalls, are said to enhance mood and fight depression by positively effecting serotonin levels, while simultaneously reducing stress, and boosting energy. They also increase melatonin promoting quality restorative sleep.

These “odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules” are nature’s creation caused by the breakdown in air molecules by sunlight and moving water and air. These beneficial ions have further healing effects as they help to diffuse the negative repercussions of positive ions generated by artificial air (AC), computer monitors, wifi, and electrical currents of all types, which negatively affect the body.

These magical healing ions are also present in nearby forests, distant countrysides, or mountain regions, and in lower quantities even in your backyard or garden, especially if bountiful with plant life.

You can get a whiff of them from a waterfall in your home or garden or while taking a shower. Even the mere act of rolling down your windows in the car or creating a fresh air breeze through your home has benefits to your state of mind and health, and its easy to do!

Don’t underestimate the benefits of, or meaning behind, the well known song lyrics– “dancing in the rain”.  And, take a mental note that stepping outside right after a storm is noted to offer significant levels of negative ions. Engage nature and it will reward you!

Grounding

Grounding, a.k.a. earthing, is a practice of creating a direct connection to the earth to maximize its healing benefits in order to diffuse positive ions and EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) that are disruptive to the body. The technique is simple and easy to do.

Merely plant your feet onto the earth, a grassy or sandy surface is best, and absorb the negative ions. Integrate the sun at the same time and you get the best bang for your buck—in 20-30 minutes you can get your daily dose of Vitamin D and diffuse the many damaging EMFs present in our environment today.

Healing Sounds of Nature

The sounds of nature also offer us healing. Studies have shown that nature’s orchestra has the ability to increase our recovery from psychological stressors.

Everything in existence vibrates at a particular frequency, including plants, rocks, stars, lakes, rivers, music, cell phones, cars, computers, and, of course, our bodies. When we are exposed to vibrations that vary greatly from our natural frequency over time we are affected, and our own frequency becomes out of balance as we attune to the new patterns.

This principle was observed by the Dutch scientist Christian Huygens in 1655. By observing two clocks with different pendulum speeds, he discovered that with time they eventually synchronize and began to swing at the same speed.

When we get “out of tune” (balance) due to the bombardment of technology, stress, toxins, environmental pollutants–nature is our answer. Tuning into the sounds of nature recalibrates our compass towards a state of homeostasis and bring us back into balance and health.

Maximize your workout

The great outdoors is one of the best locations to get your work-out on! A Pubmed study concludes that, “compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.”

Whenever possible run, walk, hike, bike or do yoga outdoors or join an outdoor fitness group. Incorporating outdoor training will keep your workouts inspired, versatile, and interesting.

Since the goal of health education should be to put what you learn into practice, I’d say “it’s time to get outside! So, if you’re not reading this article in the great outdoors, then go—go now! If not now, as soon as possible. Soak in the summer sun, ground those feet, get “in-tune”, and in shape! Let nature be your playground.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/vitamin-d/evidence/hrb-20060400
http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/negative-ions-create-positive-vibes
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21291246
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2872309/ (healing sound of nature study)
https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/articles/students/SoundofHealing